World of Warcraft

In reading My Life as a Night Elf Priest, I was confused by the beginning in which Nardi was explaining her adventures during the WoW game. I feel that in order to fully grasp the game, you must play it. Although, it did help me to understand what the game is about. While reading most of the book, I was brought back to McGonigal’s section about social life in games. I found it very intriguing the connections people make throughout the game. Being involved in the chat room allows people to flirt, meet new friends, and step out of their lives of work and stress by stepping into a realm where they can connect with people who all share a common interest in playing WoW. Interestingly enough, this is a game that brings families closer. It gives people something to talk about in which furthers their communication. This allows them to find a way to involve themselves in each other’s lives and even begin to learn more about one another. This involvement in WoW is a part of people in which they have a whole other family to attend to. It is not a waste of time or reality because you are involving yourself in a virtual social life, “Virtual worlds perhaps feel more authentically like cultures than chat rooms because of the elaboration of space and objects,” (Nardi 18).
In chapter 4, Nardi argues:
video games like World of Warcraft constitute a new digital medium. The fusion of immersive visual experience with intense, skilled performative activity, represents a significant evolution in the history of digital culture. Video games afford rich stimulation to visual sensibilities while at the same time developing complex spaces od performance with opportunities for mastery and active participation. (Nardi 52).
She mentions that it has a medieval setting, choosing from hundreds of creatures from the ‘bestiary.’ This reminds of me medieval texts such as Marie De France who introduces the idea of the werewolf, as well as Beowulf who involves a dragon. Killing off these creatures feels heroic, and also draws you closer to the other characters because you are involved in a team effort. Just as she mentions with costumes and dancing, visuals are important in setting to differentiate groups such as the elves from others. Visuals are important in their gaming experience to feel more real to them. It helps in experiencing the important tasks of the game. One of the important experiences of this game is to encounter the difficult tasks to increase this performance activity and gain a status in the game through levels. This difficulty allows the player to push themselves to reach the goal, which is important. Thus far, Nardi’s novel is interesting and engaging, and allows someone as myself to feel involved in a “culture” that I am not familiar with.


3 thoughts on “World of Warcraft”

  1. I too was confused by the beginning when Nardi was explaining playing WoW. I think for any intricate game, the person has to play the game to understand it because if the concept is explained to you by someone else, you will never fully understand it. I also completely agree with your take on how gamers make connections with one another. On a smaller scale, when people play video games with people all around the world, some of them talk to one another with their headsets. Through playing these games, the players build a bond with another. I have witnessed people scheduling times to play with someone that they have never met. They do this for multiple reasons I can assume, but they also have a shared interests. When playing a video games, it is like the players are in their own little world where they are only understood by other games such as themselves.

  2. As you both have stated, which I absolutely agree with, I was very confused by the beginning of the book. Whereas I found the other books that we have read thus far were a bit more direct and easier to comprehend, Nardi’s I had read at a slower pace than I normally would to fully grasp what she was trying to say. One thing that you brought up, that I did not consider upon my first analysis of the text and game, was that it allows various levels of interaction with other players that other games may not. While I think that it is great that World of Warcraft allows a player to learn about other players real lives, I think that this could become a bit too personal. Whereas it is admittedly my own fault, since I have never played the game before I am unaware of how personal the information can get. I suppose if it is something that is monitored by the player in how much they want to disclose than it is acceptable. I would not want to have to share more information than necessary. I do, however, think it is nice that this game allows the players to learn more about each other than just their name and username, so it becomes more personable. Also, you had mentioned that this game brings families together. I think that is an important aspect in that it allows families to communicate. Anything that can bring a family closer together is a good asset under my standards. The one thing that I do not necessarily agree with, however, is that while this game does open up communication amongst families, it is important to note that communication can exist without the game, as well.

  3. Reading this post and the comments, it struck me as momentarily odd that the first part of the book gave people trouble, then I realized that for someone who hasn’t gamed much or even played WoW, all of this talk is practically in another language. I’ve only dabbled in WoW, but never really got as into it as other people did. But just as a general gamer Nardi’s beginning intro was a bit boring. Because WoW follows the same mechanics as most games do, “Do this, get experience, level up, attribute points, gain money, spend money, etc.” I thought at first that she was preaching to the choir, and then I remembered that as a gamer, I am not her target audience. For those who aren’t really into video games taking this class, it would be really interesting to hear more input on how WoW sounds from Nardi’s perspective.

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